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Looking for a little help with "finishing" my beers

I think this is a fermentation question, but it seems that my beers never quite get to terminal gravity.
thew last beer I did was an IPA, starting Gravity of 1.077 and a finishing gravity of 1.019, which seems high, it’s carbonating now, so I don’t have a complete flavor profile, but when I tasted it before kegging it seemed sweet.

the grain bill was
15# 2 row
2# white wheat
1# caraamber

and used white Labs dry English yeast, with a starter.
I fermented warm (low 70’s)
and it fermented for about 3 weeks

Any thoughts are appreciated!

That doesn’t seem too high a FG to me. That’s 77% apparent attenuation which for an english yeast is very good. I’ve heard WLP007 finishing in the 80’s but not sure what conditions that occurred under.

Things to consider:

What temp are you mashing at? If you want to finish lower you should be mashing in the high 140’s, low 150’s.

Depending on the style you can cut back your grain bill a bit and supplement the reduced gravity with table sugar. This will give you a lower gravity due to table sugar being 100% fermentable. Some people prefer to add this the second day of fermentation to ensure that the yeast attack the more complex sugar first. I’ve done both after fermentation has begun and at the end of the boil and haven’t noticed any difference.

Matt is right – 77% attenuation is not bad, it’s great. What was your mash temperature and time? If you like your beers extra dry, mash a few degrees lower, and for longer time. I sometimes will mash at 148 F for 90 minutes if I want to ensure high attenuation. Yeast strain also matters. WLP007 is great stuff. If you had used WLP002 then your attenuation will never get quite as high as the WLP007. Belgian yeasts will often attenuate into the 90s especially if you replace malt with simple sugars like cane sugar or the Belgian syrups.

Mash lower and longer – that’s probably the key.

How many IBUs was in that IPA? I wouldn’t typically expect an IPA to be short on bittering hops - usually they are the other way and can take a bit of time to mellow and come into their own. But when I hear of a very fresh beer tasting too sweet, my second thought is not enough bittering hops to cut the sweetness of the malt.

Another thing to consider is the flavor will be “thin out” or taste a bit drier once its carbonated. It’s kinda like flat pop: there is the same amount of sugar when its carbed and when it’s flat but when it’s flat it tastes sickly sweet.

That does sound too sweet. It should finish at 1.015-16 unless you want hoppy Scotch Ale. Are you using a blow off tube? If you are losing yeast out of the fermenter, you may not have enough yeast to finish the job. I have had this problem on several strong Belgians. I had to split my batch between two carboys. I also recommend fermenting a bit cooler than 70 with English yeast. Some of them will produce some pretty nasty phenolics at those temps.

Are you making a starter or pitching straight from the vial? I always make a starter or add a big slug of yeast from a previous ferment when making beer over 1.070.

Dial in mash pH? What is final pH?

I agree with the consensus that your FG isn’t that high. I would also use sugar beyond 1.075ish if I was looking for dry beer.

Kinda interesting, last 2 beers with WLP007 finished high (1.020+), HOWEVER the beers do NOT taste sweet at all and are quite good! I have been experimenting with a 30 minute mash and I think the FG is being affected by uncomplete starch conversion (was cloudy too). Typically I mash on the thinner side (1.6qt/lb) and after some research I think mashing a bit thicker (1.2) should do help alot. On a quest for the 2 hour brew day…

the mash was exactly 150 for 75 minutes.
I’m hoping that since I sampled the beer before being carbed. that the “Flat pop theory” is accurate, and I honestly suspect that’s the case.

The IBUs were high, about 115.
The fermentation temp was about 70F.

I know tasting the brew before its fully carbed, isn’t going to give an accurate picture of the final picture, I’m putting all my eggs in that basket!

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